Beausobre, Iulia de - out of body in the steam baths
Type of Spiritual Experience
During this experience, she is taken to the bath house which is hot and full of steam. It transpires later that the girl who was supposed to be in charge of the baths had not opened a ventilator and as such the baths were full of both steam and fumes.
It is a fascinating observation, as initially it almost appears to be a near death and I have hedged my bets and classified it as as such. But the being she meets is not nice, or at least her perception is that it is not nice.
A description of the experience
The Woman who could not die – Iulia de Beausobre
I begin to feel faint. I fight against the faintness as well as I can, lying flat on a marble slab. But soon I see that I shall not check it in this steaming heat, so I hurry into the dressing-room, get into my clothes quickly and knock on the outer door to attract the bath girl's attention. She opens the door slightly and pops her head in. I tell her that I shall faint if I do not get out at once. She is quite friendly in the same serious, disciplined way that I have become accustomed to in my jailors. One of them over-hears what I am saying, and after a short discussion in undertones they let me out on to a narrow winding flight of four stone steps which leads to the guards' room.
About five men are sitting there drinking tea.
The gash-mouthed jailor with the horrible squint looks at me attentively out of his healthy eye and says: "You had better lie down quite flat on those stone steps."
Another interrupts: "Oh no! they're icy-cold, she's been sweating in there, she'd get double pneumonia or some-thing." Their voices recede, the steps tilt up funnily.
"Will the others be ready soon?" asks someone miles away. But the gash-mouthed jailor is holding me firmly under one arm and says resolutely and clearly: "No matter, we must take this one up alone, now, or we shall get into trouble." The jailor with the roguish eyes and curly hair takes me under the other arm. The bath girl looks scared. The three of them lead me out on to the staircase. We are at the foot of the endless flight of stairs.
There are two more guards here. They say the lift has just gone up. "Dammit!" exclaims the gash-mouthed jailor. "Get it down as quick as you can." He is standing close behind me. To lean back against him with all my weight seems the most natural thing to do.
A bit of concrete floor comes rushing right up to my eyes, it smells of damp dust, but only for a second. Then flights of golden stairs and snow-white doves whirl round me on the breath of gentle winds laden with unimaginable scents. Muted voices sing softly.
Yet in the depths of space, where gold changes to green for a flash, only to become blue and distant, a figure is floating, beckoning and speaking. If only I could get near enough, but I am fettered, fettered!
The figure advances and smiles. Something in its movements and its smile tells me that it is lying and evil. As I realize this it falls, crumples up, crawls about and scowls. It comes so near, I feel its foul breath on my face. And I am fettered! Thy Will be done.
Flights of golden stairs and snow-white doves whirl the creeping thing away. Beatitude dives down into the deepest marrow of my bones. I am intensely conscious of it even in my toes, in the tips of my fingers. Treasuring every flicker of it I stretch out my limbs. I open my eyes. I am lying on the white couch in the white surgery.
The two jailors are standing beside me. They must have carried me up the long flights of stairs. We could not all have got into the lift.